Learn how to import and track footage in After Effects.
- [Teacher] The first step in our process is to bring in our footage that we're going to track in After Effects to extract a 3D camera so we can track in a new building to replace the one in the existing shot. So here we are in After Effects. I'm going to go under File, Import, File. We're in our Exercise Files, chapter one, Footage, Shot 01 4K. I'm going to grab the first image here, make sure our Sequence checkbox is selected and say import. Alright, this will bring in our sequence of 300 frames as a 10 second shot into After Effects.
I'm going to drag that into our assets folder here and our project. I'm going to move my windows around so we have a little more room to see the names here. So what we're going to do now is I'm going to click on my shot 4K, right click and say New Comp From Selection. It'll make a comp. I'm going drag that comp into our comp folder so it's nice and organized. Now if I just scrub the timeline here you can see we have our drone shot of our little orbit around our building that we want to extract a 3D camera from. Okay, so to extract and track the camera what we're going to do here is I'm going to click on the footage down in the composition window here.
Right click, go Track & Stabilize, and then go Track Camera. Then you can see we have this 3D Camera Tracker plugin that gets assigned and you can see that it says Analyzing in Background and you can see that over here it says initializing and then it's going to start analyzing this footage so it can extract the camera. One thing we want to do off the bat is go to the Advanced tab and we want to check Detailed Anaylsis and then you can see that it'll restart, just because that does a little bit better job at actually extracting the information out of the footage.
So this will take a couple of minutes, so what we're going to do is we're going to let this run and then once this process is done we will jump back and we'll continue on. Now that the analysis is complete you can see the blue bar across the footage has changed to this orange bar and it says Solving Camera. So now it's taking the analysis data that it's created from looking at the footage and it's figuring out what the 3D camera should be for the shot. Okay, so now that that process is done you can see that we have all these points all over our image.
These are the tracking points that the computer has determined to be good points in space to be able to figure out the camera. So what we're going to do. Let me turn the Track Point Size up to, like, 300, Just so this is a little bit bigger here. That's a little big, maybe make this 200. Okay, I'll turn on Render Track Point just for a second. Just move through the footage and we can see as we scrub through the footage, for example, what I like to look at are the points that are on the parking lot lines down here. If we look at those we can see how those are locked to those in space and we can see, if we just look through the image, look at some different points, we can see that it has found the 3D representation of what's going on in this 2D image quite well.
Okay, so now we have our basic track. So what we need to do is, in the next video, we're going to look at figuring out how to create the camera actually from these points and then we'll move on to exporting that as an fbx file that we could bring in to all kinds of 3D software.
- Importing and tracking footage in After Effects
- Importing an FBX camera into Maya
- Importing footage into Maya
- Setting up sun and sky lighting
- Working with 3D foliage
- 3D rendering
- Compositing in After Effects